In this work, we describe a preliminary investigation of buoyancy-driven heat transfer during the growth of thin films from solution following exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. Irradiation of the growth cell occurs at various directions relative to gravitational acceleration. Through numerical computations, the steady-state flow and temperature profiles are simulated during the course of light exposure. Light-induced polymerization accompanies a heat transfer process through a fairly complicated recirculating flow pattern. A scaling analysis shows that buoyancy-driven velocities only reduce by a factor of 10 for gravity levels as low as 10(exp -2)g(sub 0). Paley et al. observe what appears to be gravitationally sensitive particle development and inclusion in thin films using a photodeposition process. From this study it is clear that production of homogeneous thin films would have to occur in the environment of a complicated flow pattern of recirculation with a nonuniform temperature distribution. Indeed, even when irradiation occurs from the top of the cell, the most stable stratified cell orientation, defects remain in our films due to the persistence of buoyancy-driven convection. To achieve homogeneity, minimal scattering centers, and possible molecular order, photodeposition of polymer films by UV light exposure must proceed in a reduced-convection environment. Fluid mechanics simulations are useful for establishing gravitational sensitivity to this recently discovered process (patent # 5,451,433) for preparing thin films having quite promising nonlinear optical characteristics.